Coronary spasm results when the smooth muscle in the wall of the artery contracts and prevents blood flow through the artery. Coronary spasm can cause a heart attack and ECG changes indicative of a heart attack along with the related symptoms. The spasm tyically occurs in an area of the artery where atherosclerosis is present, though it may not be severe. Typically, with spasm there is no plaque rupture and thrombus formation, just muscular constriction of the artery which occludes blood flow. These episodes may be brought on by physical exertion, hyperventilation and possibly stress. Spasm is usually treated with calcium channel blockers, beta blockers are usually avoided. Hope this helped to answer your question.
I have a question. We recently treated a patient who had a mitral valve prolpse that needed repair. After this surgery was performed he came back to the CCU and had a right sided MI. One day prior to the mitral vavle repair he had a heart cath which showed no evidence of atherosclerosis. A coronary spasm is what the dotors believed caused the MI. He does have a history of smoking. My question is do you know what percentage of people have coronary spasms after having some kind of heart surgery?
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